One of the questions that often gets asked my resin artists who are just starting out is “what tools do I need?” Today we are answering that question with a list of 5 must have resin tools.
The tools of the resin trade can vary for many reasons. Some of it depends on what each artist creates; you won’t always need the same tools for coasters as you will for tumblers. Another factor is preference. We all have our tried and true methods for creating our art. Some of us do things in similar ways while others have totally different methods. The list of 5 must have resin tools that we are giving you are the things that we can’t (or won’t) live without! We are also sharing a few of the tools that aren’t necessary but sure are nice to have around! If you are a new resin artist this post is definitely for you. If you’ve been crafting with resin for awhile, there is still sure to be something here for you too!
5 Must have Resin Tools
The first thing you need for your resin art is obviously your resin! We have every resin you need to make any project beautiful. If you are just getting started and are unsure of which resin to use start by thinking about the thickness of your project. Our Counter Culture DIY Artist Resin is for thinner pours of 1/4″ or less. It has that beautiful durable glasslike finish that we are famous for and is perfect for tumblers, jewelry, and final coats on any resin project. Our Counter Culture DIY Casting Resin is for pours that are thicker than 1/4″. That makes it perfect for flower preservation and deeper molds. If you want to know more about the difference between our Artist and Casting resins we have a post or that too! Now that you understand which resins to select it’s time to get to the list!
Number One: Torch
We want to talk about the torch first because it can be used in a few different ways and is widely used by resin artists of all types! The most important purpose the torch serves is to get rid of bubbles. Those tiny air bubbles that are the bane of a resin artist’s existence are no match for a torch! Our resins are heat resistant up to 500 degrees so using a torch in short bursts to eliminate bubbles is no problem. We recommend using the torch with propane and not butane. The reason for this is that propane burns hotter. That means you can use it for a shorter time and still get to all the bubbles. Butane takes longer to reach all the bubbles and if you use a torch for too long it can scorch the resin.
Another way that artists use the torch is as an art implement. Similar to the way you use a paint brush a torch can help you to move your colored resins around your art piece. This creates some amazingly beautiful effects! Artists who specialize in beach themed art can’t be without their torches. They use torches and our Armor Art to create those amazing waves and cells that you see.
Number Two: Silicone Molds
Silicone molds are simply the best! They are food grade, flexible, non-stick, and reusable. The best part is that, once your resin cures, it easily releases from the molds! No need for release sprays or any other kind of prep. If you’ve ever used other kinds of molds you know what a pain they can be. Not that those molds don’t have their place in resin art but, if you ever have the choice, you should go for silicone! We have silicone molds for tons of different projects. Coasters are probably the most popular but, close behind, are earrings, wine butlers, ornaments, phone grips…the list goes on and on!
Number Three: Mixing Sticks
Mixing sticks are obviously important for mixing your resin but did you know that they make great measuring tools too? Measuring resin is an exact science. You need that exact 1:1 ratio of parts A and B to achieve the chemical reaction you need for your resin to cure. When it comes to the pretty things you add to your resin, however, it’s a totally different story. When you are using colorants, micas, glitters, etc. resin artists will often say, “Just add a tiny bit…” or “I added two mixing sticks of glitter.” By this they mean scoop a little bit on the end of your mixing stick and add it to your resin. Your basic wooden mixing sticks work great for your stirring and measuring needs. They are easy to use and you throw them away when you are done. If you prefer mixing sticks that you can reuse, however, (our planet will thank you!) we also have silicone mixing sticks that are super easy to clean and reuse! Whichever kind of stick you prefer, they will definitely be some of your most used tools!
Number Four: Glitter Shakers
It’s no secret that glitter is a resin artist’s best friend! Most of us use some form of it for just about every resin project. That means we are usually swimming in glitters of all shades and sizes. Glitter shakers are amazing for a couple of reasons. First, they help keep your glitters easily visible and well organized. These shakers are see through and come with a label so you can note the color name. That means you’ll be able to easily see when it’s time to reorder. It also makes it easy to see what shades you have available when you are deciding on colors to use for your next project. Those are all great features but perhaps the most important is how much these shakers help with application. If you are a tumbler artist, it is much easier to apply your glitter and get even coverage when you use a shaker. For projects that require mixing glitter into your resin these shakers make it easy to put your mixing stick in and take out the amount of glitter you need. Easy peasy and oh so stress relieving!
Number Five: Silicone Mat
Last, but definitely not least, on our list of 5 must have resin tools is a protective silicone mat. Resin crafts (and many other crafts) can be super messy. It is always a good idea to have a protective material laid out so that you don’t ruin any furniture or work surface. There are several things you could use for this purpose but here’s why a silicone mat is the best… It’s hard to find materials that resist resin but silicone works perfectly for this! It is super easy to clean resin off of silicone which means you can use these mats again and again. This mat is also big enough to protect your work area without being cumbersome like other materials. You don’t have to limit this mat to resin crafts either. We know that resin artists are gifted in many ways and these mats can be used as a protective layer under any craft project.
Nice to have Resin Tools…
Like we said, there are so many amazing tools to help you with your resin art. There are a few that aren’t totally necessary but sure are nice to have around! For tumbler artists, turners are something many of them refuse to live without. You put your tumbler on a turner and it slowly spins. This is perfect for even applications as well as curing. Some artists make their own turners and some purchase them but few do their art without them. Another handy tool to have around is squeeze bottles. These squeeze bottles work great for our resins. The lids orifice is just a bit larger than most – 5/16” – to handle the thicker viscosity resins. Our new labels emphasize the black and white theme of part A & B, so hopefully no more mix ups! These work great with purchases of 1/2, 1 and 2 gallon containers of resin. You can easily dispense and mix just the amount you need! And speaking of amounts, another really helpful tool is our resin calculator. Just plug in the dimensions of your project and the resin calculator will tell you how much resin you’ll need. The calculator is available at all times under the resource tab on our website so you’ll never be left guessing again!
The Wrap Up…
The end of the year brings lots of lists: the best books, movies, games of the year etc. We hope this list of 5 must have resin tools has been helpful for you! When you have all the tools you need and are ready to get started be sure to check out all of our tutorial blogs! We give you video tutorials, supply lists, and step by step instructions for some of our favorite resin projects. You can also join us in our Counter Culture DIY Artist Support group on Facebook where we, and other artists, offer ideas, answer questions, and support each other! You’ll find lots of tutorials there too!
Do you have an art project using any of our products that you want to share? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can feature them here!